The Changing Vincentian Carib Population

  • C. J. M. R. Gullick


Estimates of the number of Black Caribs living in St. Vincent demonstrate some of the problems resulting from varying systems of ethnic classification used by Caribs and non-Carib observers. Thus population figures based on Vincentian Carib views differ from those of outside observers. In addition, population figures according to any one group for any one point in time tend to be vastly different from those of the same group at another time. Problems in assessing Carib population size are compounded by other factors. Before 1797 few figures can be assigned any degree of accuracy, because of their having been put forward with a view to propaganda. In the 19th century this complication disappeared, but despite the availability of official censuses, nominally based on actual head counts, Carib numbers are uncertain due to a paucity of information about the classification system used. However, because of a lack of other evidence, these official counts generally have to be considered at face value. In the 20th century numerous official figures are available, but they frequently disagree with one another and with other evidence. This chapter will consider the differing estimates of the founding populations appearing in these three periods and from them try to produce a demographic characterization of the Black and Yellow Carib residents of St. Vincent. The emphasis will be placed on periods having least secondary analysis, while those frequently analyzed elsewhere will be discussed in less detail.


Smithsonian Institution Attorney General Population Figure Grant Land Official Census 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. J. M. R. Gullick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyDurham UniversityDurhamEngland

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